Measurement of laser irradiance on target for directed energy weapons
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AbstractABSTRACT: High energy laser (HEL) source technology has advanced more rapidly than the tools to measure the irradiance at the incident surface. This work will provide a conformal mesh of nano-scale irradiance sensors that can be appended to the curved surface of an airborne body. The sensor array will have a thickness on the order of hundreds of microns, which will minimize the effects on an aerodynamic body in flight. The high percentage of open area of the conformal mesh will minimize the interference of the laser with the target surface. The sensors that will be developed utilize nano-crystal technology to measure irradiance. The sensor arrays will be integrated into a system that includes readout electronics, transmission of sensor data via a telemetry system, data acquisition, and near real time visualization of measured irradiance. BENEFIT: This work will also provide innovative instrumentation capabilities for Department of Defense customers. AEgis has received requests from government and commercial interests for irradiance instrumentation, including: Air Force (AAC and AFRL/RH), Navy (NSWC-Dahlgren), and Boeing-SVS. We have received specific design requirements from NSWC-Dahlgren and AFRL/RDTA that support unmanned aerial system (UAS) testing. AEgis is in close communication with these organizations, giving us a distinct advantage from the perspective of understanding the needs of the HEL test community. In addition to these inquiries, there are numerous laser programs that need the instrumentation that this program will provide. These laser programs include ATL, HELLADS, JHPSSL, HELTD, ELLA, ALT-B, Navy LaWS, AFRL/RDLE, Boeing SVS, JIAMDO, SMDC, Army WSD. AEgis is actively developing relationships with these customers to deploy the technology that will be developed under this program. Additionally, this work has tremendous commercial potential. The ability to produce irradiance sensors in a small, conformal form factor can significantly alter the laser detection and characterization marketplace. Commercial channels include commercial and DoD laser development (test and evaluation, optimization, detection, etc.), solar panel positioning (space and terrestrial), laser detection and characterization on commercial and DoD aircraft, vehicles, ships, spacecraft, personnel, etc., for safety and defense purposes.
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